Asking probing questions is not a good career move in politics, it seems. Those who don’t ask questions or endeavour to expose matters of concern are obviously on a more secure route to becoming Chief Minister. Peter Karran may be ready to take on the role but he is extremely unlikely to be asked to do so. With skimpy information available online I’m not quite sure what John Houghton is actually guilty of but I think it could be the unpardonable act of asking questions.
Others in Tynwald know the score. Keep your head down, ask few questions and when you do then nothing provocative or controversial, please. That is the road to furthering your political career it seems. These are men and women of stature who know that they maintain respectability with their peers by demonstrating an awareness of international issues and they know that the intelligent move is to concur with the necessity for all possible imported legislation especially when it has little relevance to our needs. How reassuring to know that functioning in this way is much more likely to win friends and influence people.
Peter Karran is frequently under attack for asking questions. Perhaps you can recollect that he was attacked for asking a series of questions about the MEA. That really riled some members. What was he going on about? Who was his source of information? Later of course the story was revealed (to some extent anyway). There was a lot going on at the MEA and the electorate had every right to be informed. The same question is being asked again. Where is Mr Karran obtaining his material from? Why should anyone need to know? And what difference would it make if the source was revealed, I wonder?
We are told how much his questioning has cost us yet we see that he has accurately pinpointed areas of concern in the past. However, his questions concerning the film industry were immediately followed by accusations of damaging our reputation. How often have we heard that one? Does any other western parliament suffer from such paranoia? Perhaps it could be argued that Mr Karran’s questions are excessive but this can’t be so time-consuming after all others refrain from asking questions – time saved.
Questions cost money, we are told. You get the implication? We are hard up thanks to giving in to UK demands and we certainly can’t afford questions in Tynwald. Well, I would like to know how much unnecessary adoption of UK legislation has cost us. Half a million because we decide to adopt UK practices in the social care department – but of course – no probs. Probably not a one-off, after all much of our legislation is copied and pasted from the UK and this demands the structure that goes with it. For instance, we might need to import workers who are familiar with the legislation etc.
Could it be that there is a phenomenal cost involved in the present system of compliance. How much would we save if we implemented only what we actually require? However, the practice of compliance has now become so ingrained that it seems likely that it has been mutually agreed between both jurisdictions in some way.
No doubt we are told that our system must function within EU, global legislative frameworks. Well, Iceland has opted out of the system and is doing OK. On the other hand Ireland decided to go along the standard route, accept the EU and the handouts and then the loans and is now dependent on the money lenders. Result? It now has a junk credit rating and things are expected to get worse as the country will probably require more cash injections as time goes on – not only is Ireland broke it now has to pay off the loans as well. Perhaps they should have asked some more questions before complying. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/irelands-debt-junked-as-euro-crisis-spreads-2312642.html
It’s frustrating to observe how few questions our politicians ask before adopting yet more unsuitable, irrelevant and expensive legislation. Is it a case of asking questions is bad, unquestioning compliance is good? Well, we can see where that has got us.